Since March 2015, a Saudi-led international coalition of forces—supported by Britain and the United States—has waged devastating war in Yemen. Largely ignored by the world’s media, the resulting humanitarian disaster and full-scale famine threatens millions. Destroying Yemen offers the first in-depth historical account of the transnational origins of this war, placing it in the illuminating context of Yemen’s relationship with major powers since the Cold War. Bringing new sources and a deep understanding to bear on Yemen’s profound, unwitting implication in international affairs, this explosive book ultimately tells an even larger story of today’s political economy of global capitalism, development, and the war on terror as disparate actors intersect in Arabia.
Isa Blumi is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University. He is the author of Ottoman Refugees, 1878–1939, Foundations of Modernity, and Reinstating the Ottomans.
“America's decision to plunge into war in Yemen has proven disastrous, but the background of this crisis remains obscure to most outsiders. Destroying Yemen is a meticulous and fascinating account of how Yemen was pushed into crisis—and why the United States intervened on the side of the aggressor.”—Stephen Kinzer, author of The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War
"This is one of the best books I have read in recent years, and for sure the best on the Middle East. Bar none. It is a provocative yet also carefully argued criticism of development, democratization, and nation-building. Sifting through a great deal of materials in an accessible style, Isa Blumi presents a bold revisioning of the past one hundred years in the Persian Gulf. This is the first book on Yemen that people not interested in the Middle East are likely to read. A blockbuster of a book that makes us all think harder."—Robert Vitalis, author of White World Order, Black Power Politics and America's Kingdom
"This is the book that will put Yemen on the map and get it out of its ghetto. It presents a distinctively hard-hitting interpretation of recent developments in Yemen, in all their tragedy, while also linking them to the earlier twentieth century in a manner that is striking, bold, and inventive. Isa Blumi shows how the components of U.S.-led imperialism in the form of the development industry, international financial policy, the military-industrial complex, and the oil-dollar nexus have devastated a once agrarian society of great historical depth and ecological skill. Engaging and fast-paced, while bringing together a remarkable range of source material, this is the book for journalists and general readers interested in the Middle East and the wider world today."—Martha Mundy, author of Domestic Government: Kinship, Community, and Polity in North Yemen
“Isa Blumi has written the best book that we have on Yemen. It oscillates between Yemen's history and its present, offering a well-written narrative of the devastation wrought against the Yemeni people. Between its graves and the sad eyes of its children, Yemen holds on. Blumi's book turns our eyes to the people and helps us grasp their story.”—Vijay Prashad, author of The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution